Module 04: The End of Optimism? The Great Depression in Europe
Take the interactive quiz to check your comprehension of key themes and details from the module. The quiz will assist you in your preparation for class discussion, exams, and writing assignments. You can choose to email the results to your instructor.
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Suggested Writing Assignments and Classroom Discussion
Compare and contrast the challenges to democratic institutions and practices in Britain, France, and Germany. What factors explain why the responses were similar and why they differed in the three countries? Identify examples from the Evidence section that support your analysis.
According to the communist newspaper The Militant, "The entire German economic system of the immediate future will live in the shadow of the recent Wall Street crash. . . . In German politics, the situation finds a mirror and a barometer" (Evidence No. 18). Where in the Evidence materials do you find support for such an assessment of economics and politics in Germany and in Europe more generally? To what extent did the European Depression occur "in the shadow" of the American economic situation, and to what extent was the crisis in Europe internally generated and influenced?
One of the most important aspects of the Depression was the way in which economic systems were linked by webs of cause and effect. Historians must be able to recognize and explain patterns of causation in order to understand historical events. Below, you'll find three ways to present historical analysis that interprets causes and consequences: a written text, a visual diagram, and an animated explanatory sequence. After reviewing each, recreate your own diagram depicting the relationship between economic and political conditions and causes during the Depression. You might use a flowchart, a timeline, or a series of connected boxes. Devote particular attention to the factors leading from one set of causes to the next. What, in your opinion, is the best way to represent relationships of cause and effect?